REVIEW: The Run-Out Groove by Andrew Cartmel (The Vinyl Detective #2)

Series: The Vinyl Detective

Book Number: 2

Read this book for: fun mystery, alternative mystery subjects, fast paced thriller, humorous writing

Quick Review: Polished, fast-paced and a ton of fun, this is a fantastic read that is easy to get lost in.

***

His first adventure consisted of the search for a rare record; his second the search for a lost child. Specifically the child of Valerian, lead singer of a great rock band of the 1960s, who hanged herself in mysterious circumstances after the boy’s abduction.

Along the way, the Vinyl Detective finds himself marked for death, at the wrong end of a shotgun, and unknowingly dosed with LSD as a prelude to being burned alive. And then there’s the grave robbing…

THE RUN-OUT GROOVE is the second novel in Andrew Cartmel’s excellent Vinyl Detective series, which follows an unnamed vinyl enthusiast as his hunt for rare records spins out into greater crimes and mysteries. I would suggest that reading WRITTEN IN DEAD WAX (the first novel) is almost imperative before reading this novel – Cartmel does not waste much time in refreshers; he just jumps right in to the main story.

And what a story it is. While the plot is more straightforward than that of the last novel, the focus makes the whole thing feel more polished. It also keeps the story rolling forward at an incredible speed – and also makes it very hard to put down (I read almost the entire thing in one sitting because it just pulled me right in).

Cartmel has created an intoxicating mix of adventure, humour and mystery to lose yourself in. I have to comment on the humour in particular – while it is not laugh-out-loud funny in most places, the wry, tongue-in-cheek style keeps what could be a relatively dark story light enough to move quickly and without the melodrama that some of these types of stories tend toward.

The characters also help to maintain this sense of light-heartedness. They are quirky, memorable and truly interesting. Many of them are not more than they seem, but it’s almost refreshing in its honesty about who they are.

Once again, I have to highly recommend this series for a truly engaging and enjoyable read. THE RUN-OUT GROOVE surpasses even the opening novel in the series for polish and fun.

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